Universal reports this morning that Lone Survivor earned an estimated $14.4 million on Friday, putting it on course for one of the best January openings ever. Cloverfield owns the month's record with $40.1 million back in 2008. Lone Survivor is projected by BoxOffice to bank a strong $38 million. As expected, the flick is playing strong throughout America's heartland and among military families. Mark Wahlberg continues to expand his box office drawing power as the film is poised to exceed the debuts of Act of Valor ($24.5 million) and Zero Dark Thirty's expansion one year ago this weekend ($24.4 million). Early word of mouth appears very healthy with 85 percent of more than 32,000 Flixster users anticipating or approving of the film.
Disney's Frozen continues to pile up cash as it brought in another $3.11 million on Friday, down 54 percent from last Friday. Many of the country's schools are back in session, so look for a strong rebound on Saturday and Sunday. The film's domestic gross through Friday is $305.7 million, and BoxOffice is projecting a $13.7 million weekend.
Lionsgate's The Legend of Hercules posted a tepid $3.08 million opening day, which should give the film an $8.2 million opening weekend. Awareness and interest had been low going into the weekend, so this weak debut is hardly surprising and falls in line with the Conan the Barbarian remake's debut weekend of $10 million back in August 2011. The Legend of Hercules has received toxic reviews from critics (currently at 2 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and early word of mouth is suffering with only a 50 percent audience score on Flixster.
Paramount reports that The Wolf of Wall Street bagged $2.73 million yesterday, down a solid 37 percent from the same day last week. Martin Scorsese's fifth film starring Leonardo DiCaprio is still going strong as it heads into what could be a still-lucrative period with Oscar nominations due next week. Wolf has earned $72.3 million domestically so far and is expected to total $8.9 million this weekend.
Fellow awards contender American Hustle accounted for $2.58 million on Friday, off just 38 percent from the same day last week. Hustle has amassed $95.54 million to date and should top the $100 million domestic benchmark sometime on Sunday. Look for a projected $8.3 million frame.
Also expanding this weekend are the awards season underdogs August: Osage County and Her. Osage banked an estimated $2.2 million on Friday as it expanded into 905 locations, and the film's Flixster score sits at a solid 76 percent for now. BoxOffice projects a $6.7 million weekend from there. Her, meanwhile, pulled a soft $1.8 million day from 1,729 theaters. BoxOffice projects Spike Jonze's film will tally $5.6 million for the weekend. Although long-term playability could still be in the latter film's favor (especially if it garners some nomination attention from the Academy next week), and while word of mouth is very positive at 87 percent on Flixster, Her is noticeably behind the pace of 2004's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which bowed to an $8.2 million weekend in 1,353 theaters in March that year.
Additional reporting by Daniel Garris